Rated 4.3 out of 5Â by 168
Rated 3 out of 5Â by BmanC27 Good machine, still easier & faster to blow into a pile and rake them into a trash can.
This product is easy to assemble & get started as are all Echo products. I just feel it is much too time consuming to use I bought to suck the leaves out of a planter bed with river rock. I found it to be easier to blow out leaves onto concrete & rake into trash can. I will say it does a good job of shredding up the leaves to fit 2 or 3 times as many leaves into one can. Also make sure the vacuum tube is correctly in place or guard is screwed all the way in or it will not start it is a safety switch.
December 12, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5Â by Jake built in failure
Acceptable performace for the year that it worked. Carb failed. Experts in repair of this type equipment tell me the carbs on most of the leaf blowers are susceptible to failure for various reasons. Expect a year of so of reliable use, then get out your wallet for $100 or so carb replacement. Otherwise, worked fine. Did what it was supposed to for the year.
September 23, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5Â by mike Finally a Good Yard Vacuum
I have owned blower/vacs for over 20 years and mainly use them to vacuum leaves. I have had about 10 units in half a dozen different brands. All have been low-priced ones, around $100. I use them a lot and typical life is about two years. Most common problems have been plastic impellers wearing out, becoming hard to start or keep running, wear out the leaf bags (requiring sewing/patching), wear out of vacuum tube fittings where it connects to the housing, and holes and cracks in the housing caused by sucking up small lava rocks. I have employed a lot of duct tape. In the last year I have returned three blower/vacs that either did not start right out of the box or would not start after a couple hours of use.
Frustrated, I decided to bite the bullet and go with a more expensive brand, like Husqvarna or Stihl. After reading some reviews, I decided to try an Echo. The 5-year warranty and reasonable price were also attractive.The HD on-line-only version seemed to be a better device than the store model for the same price, so I ordered the ES-250.
The Echo was easy to assemble and the attachment mechanisms seem to be more durable. It started easily, and after it was warm it would start with a easy single pull in the run position. I used it for about 3 hours and picked up 4 full large lawn bags. The bag hangs well, is easy to remove, is made of very durable materials, has a nice vent on the end, and is easy to empty â by far the best design I have ever seen. I did not have a problem with the Velcro strap â I cinched it up tight over the smaller section of the adapter tube (did not experience any blowby), and I removed the bag with the adapter attached. (To remove bag to empty it, best to stick a flat head screwdriver in the latch slot, twist it quarter turn to unlatch, put one foot on the housing and pull straight up on the adapter tube. It comes, and reinserts out without twisting or much force.)
I like the way it operates. At lower throttle settings it picks up leaves quickly without picking up much underlying mulch or any rocks. And you can use full throttle on open areas, and it works really fast. It does not clog very easily, even with gobs of pine needles. The metal impeller shredded hardwood mulch pieces that would normally jam my previous machines. I only had one jam (from a sizeable piece of wood), but this was easy to clear by turning the impeller a little with a screwdriver from the blower side. The vac tube is long, which allows reaching without bending over much (better for the back when using the bag strap).
I was so pleased with the first use of my new Echo, that the next day I ordered another for our lake house. When the UPS guy delivered the second one, he mentioned that this was the second one he had delivered to me and that he was in the market for a blower/vac. I highly recommended this Echo to him, and I think I convinced him. I tested the second one and it started right up.
The only negative I witnessed was there is no audible indication of when the bag is full. Previous units would dramatically increase speed suddenly when the bag is full, but the Echo does not. No biggie.
January 15, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5Â by Dentoku Best value for the money.......and it's Echo....... what's not to like?
I rated this unit 5 stars because it's great overall value deserves 5 stars, but it has a few irritating shortcomings. None of the shortcomings are any where near showstoppers and are not major factors and the machine is really wonderful, IMV, for my specific needs. I bought it for the vacuum/mulch capability (note please that the manuf. calls it a shredder vs mulcher) and it is turning my difficult property with 41 oaks, plus several other types of trees and row upon row of hedges, into a pretty manageable operation. Heretofore I was nearly miserable wondering how I would come to grips with the leaf issue. Wonderfully, the mulcher reduces the leaf and debris size to one that is usable in flower beds, whereas full leaves were not desirable for that purpose. As a consequence my leaf bagging has reduced by fully 90% or more. IMV, this is a near-on miracle in itself. I suspect this machine came close to paying for itself the first weekend I used it and that's value in my book. An important point is that when using the machine you will unavoidably suck up some earth/dirt with the leaves, etc - and whereas this might be undesirable in normal circumstances, when using the shredded material for flower bed mulch, it's actually a very good thing.
Several issues pertain:
- The unit is heavy and will leave your gripping forearm muscles shaky after a few hours use - I don't think a normal sized, non-farm type woman would be able to handle - it's too heavy for my wife and she works better than two men.
- The vacuum tube, which is quite well sized, attaches to the side of the unit and you have to drop down a plastic mesh cover (which covers the mulcher blade) to attach the tube.- I personally believe it would have been better to remove the plastic guard completely but you can't, rather than have it dangling off the unit. It doesn't wobble around, but it's potentially vulnerable to getting caught on something and getting ripped loose.
- As noted by others, the bag is quite heavy and pretty well designed. However, the velcro fastener which holds the bag to the debris ejection tube, I tend to believe, will become clogged with debris over time and make it less 'sticky' as a fastener. As well, the shape doesn't allow a 'fold fit' to tighten the neck of the bag as tight as I'd like it. But that said, in practice it works very well and this issue does not seem to be a big one.
- The most major irritant I have is also with the bag - the zipper, I tend to believe is on the wrong side of the bottom and runs the wrong way, facing down. To open the zipper with the zipper facing down you have to reach under the bag and when pulling the zipper your are pushing the bag away from you, rather than being able to use the weight of the full bag to provide resistance, pulling the zipper toward you, to allow an easy opening of the zipper. Someone said they thought the machine might have been designed by a left-handed person and this was my exact thought with this zipper arrangement. All that said, though, it's a manageable work around and the bag and zipper are sturdy and well made. I've found that what is best for me is to take the bag off the machine, set the machine down and carry the bag to the flower bed I'm going to pour the contents into and it works like a charm - I can flip the bag over, unzip it and dump the contents wherever needed. No more filling plastic lined garbage cans, etc. and really, a lot less work.
Purchaser's should be advised that the clumps of stuff the sizeable vacuum tube will pick up should not be massive - twigs the size of even a pencil are difficult for the mulcher and it doesn't handle long things or seeds the size of a peanut very well at all. My best technique so far is to have my wife rake piles of leaves and then I suck them into the machine in less than a quarter the time it would have taken to manually load them into a plastic bag or can.
When I cked out at HD I was offered the standard full replacement warranty which I declined as I always do, but I'm rethinking that. The machine is so good I'll be heart broken if it breaks or wears out without the full replacement warranty. I think I'm gonna go back to the store to try to resurrect that warranty.
One really good capability to pass on to others here, we're in pollen season and my pool skimmer is loading up with hand-fulls of pollen daily which is a constant problem to keep clear. Yesterday I opened my skimmer and saw the pile of more than a half gallon of the pollen debris and I stuck the vacuum tube of the mulcher into the top of the skimmer, not quite touching the water and it sucked the whole pile up out of the skimmer in an instant - amazing indeed! The unit would almost be worth the price for that capability alone.
Hope all this detail helps someone. Regards to all.
April 14, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5Â by darynm Quality piece, horrible bagger design!
It's Echo so you know you are getting a solid build in motor and material. It works well. The major hick up for me is the leaf bag that attaches only holding it in place with velcro. It has all ready become weak with a couple uses and I find it flying right off it's fitting because the velcro could not hold strong enough. HORRIBLE and just ignorant idea. My old sears blower/vac had a tube style connector with turn style screw down to hold in secure in place and never ever slipped off!!! I couldn't be any more dissappointed and going to make a call to echo and based on that may have to return an otherwise nice piece of equipment!
June 11, 2013